Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Rating: 1
Alinor Devaux, is beautiful and very rich. She is also an orphan, but her grandparents had not left her defenseless. She has been trained to manage her estates and to rule her vassals. But then the old king dies and Alinor becomes the ward of Richard Coeur de Lion. Alinor knows that her safety and the well-being of her precious lands rests on her ability to make her warden, Sir Simon Lemagne, her willing slave.
Sir Simon has known many women, but never one like Alinor. He is an easy victim. But Alinor tumbles into love. Soon Sir Simon is the only man she will take as a husband. But Simon is no suitable match—he is poor and has no political power. The king would make no profit by permitting Simon to marry Alinor. In their struggle to be united despite the obstacles in their path, Lady Alinor and Sir Simon are swept from the Royal Court in England into King Richard’s Crusade, through the king’s conquest of Cyprus and into the Holy Land. They endure bloody battles and heartrending separations before Simon convinces King Richard to allow their love fruition in marriage.
As I finished the book, my immediate thought was, “Wait! That was the ending!?!” Of course, upon further thought no other ending would have been appropriate for Simon and Alinor. Don't get me wrong, they got their happily ever after, or at least disposition to marry and have the futures of their own making, which made them very happy. Sunshine and roses and glowing happiness would not have been appropriate for Simon and Alinor. Ok, I know I'm putting the cart before the horse. The beginning and middle are very good, and while the ending was not the one I was imagining and hoping was coming it was appropriate.
Simon and Alinor are two practical, down to earth people who somehow find themselves in the courts of Queen Alinor of Aquitaine and King Richard the Lionhearted. Interesting how they can survive and survive well in the Courts of chivalry and courtly love, when they both disdain such a rosy colored view of the world. It is very fitting that they found each other.
This is not a light hearted beach read kind of book, but I loved it nonetheless. It was an excellent picture of middle ages courtly life, the times of King Richard, and his battles in England and in the Holy Land on his Crusade. Allinor and Simon are well suited, and their struggles make for an interesting read. I enjoyed the political maneuvering they had to go through in order to convince the King that they should be married.
The book is called The Roselynde Chronicles Book One. I look forward to Book Two.
4 1/2 Tea Cups!